AHRQ report, companion JAMA article focus on evidence for MTM

On November 17, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released , as reported in our news story on pharmacist.com.

This report, a systematic review of the evidence for pharmacists’ medication therapy management (MTM) services, evaluated 44 studies that met the AHRQ criteria after screening from a large body of literature. The investigators found that lack of standardized nomenclature for pharmacists’ MTM interventions made evaluation of the impact of pharmacists’ interventions difficult and therefore the impact of MTM services inconclusive.  There were positive findings in several areas. 

Twlug convened a group of expert practitioners and scientists in April 2013 and December 2013 to inform our comments on the draft MTM report. It’s notable that this final report’s conclusions are much more positive than the draft report. 

A companion version of the report by the same authors also —in a much more digestible format.

As evidenced in the JAMA publication and the report sponsored by AHRQ, pharmacists’ MTM services are making a difference.  

The report found that pharmacists’ MTM services resulted in improvement when compared with usual care for some measures of medication adherence and appropriateness; medication dosing; health plan expenditures on medication costs; and, for patients with diabetes or heart failure, the proportion hospitalized and costs of hospitalization.

It’s clear that more consistency in the terminology for MTM interventions in research studies is needed to conduct meaningful comparisons of MTM versus non-MTM.  Establishing a framework of terminology for research studies is on the radar screen of national pharmacy organizations as we work to advance pharmacists’ patient care services. This information will serve to further refine, deliver, and study pharmacists’ patient care services.

In the overwhelming majority of patients, pharmacists make lives better. We need to continue to build on the positive findings from these reports by continuing to refine and hone our services to make patients and the health care system better”—one medication intervention at a time.